Rome, Oct 1 (IANS/AKI) A migrant camp in Italy’s coastal city of Ventimiglia close to the French border has been dismantled.
The camp was dismantled on Wednesday and police said a dozen migrants were arrested, including a Bosnian national wanted under an international arrest warrant. Migrants and activists were taken to the local police station for identification.
Some migrants evicted from the camp went to a nearby Red Cross centre.
The camp was cleared because its occupants were using electricity and water without paying for it, a police spokesman said.
“They have to move, I’m not sure at the moment where they’ll be taken… but this situation could not go on. We understand why they are protesting but the camp was illegal,” said Ventimiglia mayor Enrico Ioculano.
Bulldozers and garbage trucks removed tents, mattresses and personal belongings from the camp, which sprawled under an overpass.
However, the president of Ventimiglia’s association of local businesses welcomed the camp’s evacuation.
“Camp residents often blocked roads and caused disruption over the past months, despite protests from residents and local businesses… now the area has been freed at last,” Simone Piccolo said.
Migrants hit international headlines in Ventimiglia in June when they began camping out on the rocks amid a crackdown on border controls that saw them refused entry to France.